Transformium [The Blockbuster Myth]

Trans … Wait for it … form.
If we experiment with the thought that we can play the present in either Slow-motion or in Fast-forward. We can then see the future being created in a comprehensible speed. To see Time Transforming the world around us at various rates. If reality is a movie, then we understand that for every new frame to come, we set the stage in the current frame, for the transformation to take shape. I will now give you my thoughts on how a crappy movie has my mind spinning and why we need to make better more thoughtful movies. They are never ever just dumb entertainment. Especially not the big blockbuster action flicks that so many of us, pass of as pure brain-dead entertainment. This is the ones to look out for. They go right into our emotional core.

If you want to burrow a message into a human mind. Work it into a story — Jonathan Gottschall, The Storytelling Animal

Science Fiction Storytelling [The Blockbuster Myth]

Transformers … I know what you think. It’s the brain-dead action movie by Michael Bay with giant robots from outer space. Well I went to see it tonight. Because it has giant robots. And it’s a Sci-Fi movie where the future of humankind on Planet Earth is at stake. Was it a mistake? Or did I have free will in making the choose to see it? Find out below.

If you read my thoughts from last summer about what I think of blockbuster sci-fi action you know what I think of Transformers: Age of Extinction. To sum it for you here it is:

What we can Imagine –> We can Build

We must use Storytelling and Science Fiction to envision a new Future. And to raise important question for an ongoing dialog about the future and where we are going. We should draw parallels to our past and present to give us better picture of who we are and how we build our society. Why do we go forward? If we want to change the present into a better world tomorrow, then Epic Storytelling is the Ultimate tool to communicate a common vision of that future. Things we must invent and obstacles we must overcome. Everything is made up and we make up the future, together.

So what is Good Epic Blockbuster Movies to me? Here are some of my favourites: The Matrix, Avatar, Avengers, Cloud Atlas, Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Transformers

Transformers – Age of Extinction

Transformium [Way Shap:ier Than Adamantium]

With that in mind. What did I think of Transformers? It’s a mess of illogical storytelling with very little insight why we should care about the future of the human race. The main characters are constantly concerned with each others wellbeing and maintaining silly Movie-American family values. All the while countless human lives are lost without a single though or comment.

And “The Age of Extinction“? What’s up with that? Yes the threat to humanity is very real, as in so many movies before this one. And yet most people doesn’t seem to get it. They do very little to act on it. If your going to die, doing anything else than prevent it from happening seems a little bit out of character. Well maybe it’s just really they way we treat Earth today in the real world. Nobody can grasp how bad we are treating it and we always think that someone else is doing something about it.

Can we use movies like this, to get us aware of the fact that we need to do something to save our “World” together?

Then there is the magical metal Transformium. Sci-Fi movies should stay away from trying to explain what is clearly magic by trying to explain it as science. (I’m locking at you Midi-chlorians). Some things we humans can just accept as a magical setting for raising some interesting philosophical questions. It’s what Sci-Fi does best. Stop trying to explain things like the Metal Transformium by making it a metal that flies around as little cubes just to form a robot. If this was the case they could just dissolve when ever they were hit or shot at. Just like the liquid Metal Demon in T2. If they where a calculating machine and where to use this power to the extent of their abilities it wouldn’t be a match at all. Make better technical plots where it fills a purpose to the story and the core of the message. Otherwise leave it be. On a second note. The name Transformium is used as a joke in the movie and it called this with full intent of irony.

Cade Yeager: [to Joshua] You’re an inventor like me, so I know you have a conscience. Don’t let your creation take control.
Joshua Joyce: I created Galvatron, I control him!
Cade Yeager: No, he’s been controlling you!

Then there is opening act with Mark Wahlberg as a broke Inventor, Maker och Tinkerer. Just like me, he has an unyielding belief that his breakthrough is just around the corner. I’m still waiting for mine as a Holistic Thinking Ninja. So this is the best part that actually resonates with me. And he is called Yeager which is an obvious flirt with the Jaeger Program in Pacific Rim which is much better movie 🙂

And what about the moral of the story?

There some few bright spots. Like when Joshua Joyce, the head of KSI, says that his intent for the company was never to be evil and he tries to make amends in the end. Otherwise there is nothing about what almost every movie now forgets to mention or portray. The move into the Network Society. They always fail to show, how we can use the internet and social media for good. With Sustainability, Collaboration, Transparency and Community at the core of global problem solving. The hero isn’t alone anymore. They have a whole team available at the tip of their fingers through a smart phone. When we will see the first Blockbuster movie to fully portray what this new paradigm shift means for The World?

Do You Have a Teflon Brain? [What Does Movies Teach You?]

Action movies are never just stupid entertainment where you turn your brain off. No can do. The brain doesn’t come with an off-switch and it are constantly affected by what it experience and the stories that it craves for so much. And everything has a message. If you can’t spot it, it’s just cleverly or unthoughtfully hidden from plain sight within the story. And the wrong message does actually affect us in the wrong way. I don’t give me any crap about that you are some kind of superhuman with a Teflon Brain. Like an On/Off switch that you can flip when you want to become invulnerable to the world around you. Your brain doesn’t work that way. Most of the cognitive work of your brain is hidden from the conscious you. The one part of your brain, that is actually a story told by your brain for you, to live through.

Engage with the stories around you on whole new conscious way and a new world will open up for you. If you want to know more check out Jonathan Gottschall’s book The Storytelling Animal.

“We are critical and skeptical. But when we are absorbed in a story, we drop our intellectual guard” — Jonathan Gottschall

Should we then stop going to see stupid movies by the kinds of Michael Bay? The world surly doesn’t think so. As Transformers are breaking all kinds of records just in its first week. What should we do then to stop this madness? Voting with our dollars sure doesn’t work. Reflecting in groups? Hope for the Wachowskis to save us? Give me your thoughts in the comments below.

How can we bust the “Blockbuster Myth”, that I would like to call it?

What Can You Transform? [The World of Tomorrow]

How can I use this movie to further my own thoughts? Well Transformium is actually a good name for us to use in another context. That we create our own tomorrow by transforming our present Space-time Continuum. We have this magic super power in our hands. Just yesterday I posted some questions about how we create Tomorrow that I call The World of Tomorrow.

World of Tomorrow

By telling stories of your own tomorrow you can actually change the way you act, think and behave today. Remember that Tomorrow is just a fantasy in your mind.

“The past, like the future, does not really exist. They are both fantasies created in our minds. The future is a probabilistic simulation we run in our heads in order to help shape the world we want to live in. The past, unlike the future, has actually happened. But the past, as represented in our minds, is a mental simulation, too. Our memories are not precise records of what actually happened. They are reconstructions of what happened, and many of the details – small and large – are unreliable. Memory isn’t outright fiction; it is merely a fictionalisation” — Jonathan Gottschall, The Storytelling Animal

Go forth and tell better stories of a Tomorrow that you want to live in!

/LordSillion
Holistic Thinking Ninja

Update:
Added The Moral of the Story and my favorit Blockbuster Movies.

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A Rim Vision of the Future

This is part 2 of 4 of for the Big Summertime Storytelling I do this summer with Man of Steel, Wolverine, Pacific Rim and Elysium.

Also check out my Storytelling post on Cloud Atlas, Iron Man 3, Oblivion and Princess of Mars.

[005]
Pacific Grim [A Rim Vision of the Future]

We must use Storytelling and Science Fiction to envision a new Future. And to raise important question for an ongoing dialog about the future and where we are going. We should draw parallels to our past and present to give us better picture of who we are and how we build our society. Why do we go forward?

I am a Mech Lover. Somewhere in my heart I just love big moving robots. I don’t know why but maybe you do? So that’s why I had to go and see the latest Mech Movie: Pacific Rim. It starts out great. The first 5 minutes we get a fast walk-through of the events leading up to current situation in the movie. This really feels like we are going to see an epic Sci-Fi movie with great visions of the future. And then… We get nothing of the things promised…

Don’t get me wrong. The Mechs are just awesome and the Action is superb. Expect that apparently they have a sword that is super effective in the fights but it’s not used at all until the very end. And if this a popcorn movie where you are supposed to leave your brain at the door… Sorry, no can do. I am my brain and so are you. All movies weather are dumb or smart is all about storytelling and it affects us all in some way. There is no excuse to make a dumb movie ever. Storytelling is the ultimate learning and visionary tool and we are using it wrong.

“Storytelling is about Profound lessons that you should internalize.
sugar-coated in an entertaining ride. That are not to challenging but are embedded with deep truths” — Jason Silva

I’ll talk about some of the things missing in the movie below and how it should be.

CoyoteTango

Mechs are cool! Gigantic Mechs are Awesome!

Social Media [We will just not drop it]

Come on it’s now 2013 and we’ve been using social media for many years. Are all Sci-Fi movies and television shows from now on set in an alternative universe where Social Media didn’t happen? It’s so Sad that they all have to be this way. And it will not be like today. It will have evolved to whole new level. Try using your fantasy to imagine it for us 🙂

The Future is a Team Game [Only together can we save Earth]

In the opening there is this great mention of that all nations came together. And then nothing. The science department is a one man show. We are now really starting to see that the future will be a collaborative effort. We are beginning to Crowdfund and Crowd-develop all sort of things at an exponentially growing rate. We are not going to stop that just like that, when a crisis shows up. It’s exactly then that we going to put these tools to really good use. I can see that the design and construction is the effort very large collaborating teams all over the world. We would all join up and contribute to our favorite Mech Design. With this new gigantic Metal Gods we would all bow to them in Awe.

We would proudly fly the team color of our favorite Mech Team.

And speaking of Games. In a future with gigantic Mechs, every aspect of them are going to turn into a game. We would have large virtual simulation games of the Mechs. That way we are going to find the absolute best pilot teams as the winners of massive eSports tournaments. Not the pathetic sparring they have in the movie.

All this should be in the movie…

Storytelling FTW [Let’s Gear Up for Joint Tomorrow]

Movies like these should be an awesome experience in creating a vision in what Mankind is capable of when put under the threat of extinction. We should leave the theater in an absolute astounding sense of awe of what we can do if we all work together against a common enemy. Not just pointless stuff to earn more money. I know that ComicBookGrl19 calls this “The one original film that came out this summer”. But not so. For me this feels like a standard action movie made in the 90-ties.

Storytelling has been around for as long as we have been humans. And it’s the storytelling itself that first made us into the storytelling chimpanzee we are today. You must embrace fiction. It will make you more empathetic and more able to navigate life’s problems and dilemmas. — Jonathan Gottschall

Stories pulls us together and unites us with common values. It’s the core that makes us into a groupish vehicle for our genes to pass down to our offspring. We use them to set a shared Moral Matrix for the group. They create our culture and our entire existence. — Lord Sillion

This is what Storytelling has always been about. Not a whimsical nonsense without wisdom and visions. The Wachowskis showed us with The Matrix over 10 years ago that you can make a cool action movie with deep truths, embedded with philosophy and thought provoking, meaningful visions of the future. As did their main inspiration: Ghost in the Shell before them. And they did it again now with Cloud Atlas.

Read Jonathan Gottschall’s The Storytelling Animal to find out more about how our brain thinks all its thoughts in stories. And read my blog about Storytelling.

Why is this Important? [What we can Imagine –> We can Build]

BackToTheFuture

We don’t need a Time Machine to redesign the Future

Because what we can Envision and Imagine we can build together. It’s how the brain works. It runs on stories. Particular the visual ones. We must stop treating movies and television as dumb entertainment and use it for what it really does. All things we see and experience affects us in some way. We are constantly bombarded with visions and messages. Let’s make them something we can be proud of and aspire to.

It’s time to take the future back. We start by building a common vision of the Future.

I’ll soon talk about how to build a common vision…
And tomorrow I will go and see Elysium. I put my hopes up for Elysium and the Story it will tell.

Read about Elysium here.

@LordSillion [Michael Sillion]
Holistic Thinking Ninja